Literary reviews by Tim Love.
Warning: Rather than reviews, these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces. See Litref Reviews - a rationale for details.

Sunday 26 June 2011

"The Unread Squirrel" by Helena Nelson (Happenstance, 2009)

The acknowledgements include "Pap Issue 3" (i.e. my Poetry about Poetry magazine, with its logo that I created with Postscript). Also mentioned is Lighten-Up Online, another magazine I've been in (and P.N. Review, which I haven't). Light verse? Well, some of it I suppose, but it could just as easily be described as witty, formally playful, etc. I don't think one needs to labour over them, though you may well go back and read some again.

"Plodding" is far from mainstream. "Break in the Line" though it's about line-breaks is the most prosaic piece - a strong Flash contender. "The Red Squirrel" is witty (I thought the squirrel was going to be the author). "Submission Guidelines" offers good advice

Do not go gentle into that villanelle.
Allow yourself a period of remission.
Rage, rage against a rhyming hell.

"xaxa" is the most common rhyme scheme, but there are many other forms. There are rhyming couplets ("The Amazing Adventures of Alphabetsy" is a sort of Abcedarian in couplets). "Rain" (7 lines) and "Half Light" (14 lines) have the same end-rhyme throughout.

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